Early Cycladic Figurine


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Marble figurines from the ancient Cycladic civilization (which flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea from 3300 - 2000 BCE) usually represent standing female naked figures whose ancient prototypes are the neolithic female figurines of the Greek mainland Aegean and Anatolia. They are simple, flat, one dimensional surfaces, with a characteristic “violin” shape, so-called because of they all lack any clear indication of the human head. Among the existing examples only 5 percent represent men.

In the Early Cycladic I period (Grotta-Pelos culture 3200-2800 BC) characteristic types are:  

  • The Schematic Figurines: with a vague outline and typically in the violin-shaped (as in the image above)
  • The Plastiras type: named after the cemetery of Plastiras in north Paros. Natural looking figure is standing, with arms bent at the elbows and resting on the stomach. Other features of the face, legs, fingers are well defined.
  • The Louros type: known from the Louros cemetary of Naxos. The figure is standing, but there are no facial features and no arms, just stumps at the shoulders.



The majority of the approximately 1400 known Cycladic figurines come from graves, although only 40% has been recovered through systematic excavation. Almost all information known regarding Neolithic art of the Cyclades comes from the excavation site of Saliagos off Antiparos.

Along with the Minoans and Mycenaeans, the Cycladic people are counted among the three major Aegean cultures.


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